It's distressing, to say the least, to see the proliferation of these "get even" type shoot outs.
What most saddens me is the state of mind nessessary for such an act. The person or persons who commit these acts cannot see a time past the act itself.
I think there would be few victims of bullying or other harassment that do not fantasize about putting some heavy duty pay-back on their oppressors, certainly this was true in my case.
However, as satisfying as seeing the expression on the SOB in question's face 2 seconds before you shot him in it would surely be, there is a price to be paid for this pleasure. The law, rightly, calls such an act murder and the price tag is high.
As the victim of bullying in my early teen years, I freely entertained ideas of "getting even" (killing) those who oppressed me. At the same time I had easy access to my father's deer rifle, a weapon of considerably more power and bullet capacity than a .22 pistol. Equally, I had used it before and was well versed in it's use. Add this to the fact that it would have fitted neatly in my guitar case ( I measured it to make sure) and all the elements are there.
In the end, the reason I didnt go on a shooting rampage with it was simple: The people I would have shot and probably killed were not worth it.
Yes, they were worthless scum.
Yes, the world would have been a cleaner place without them.
No, killing them would not have improved my life any, suicide was not part of the plan and I wasnt going to ruin my life just because of them.
In a culture where hand guns are endemic, where whole generations have grown up worshipping at the altar of violence made acceptable, it is no suprise that some tragic souls will see a loaded hand gun as the perfect solution to their problems.
It's no use crying that kids have no idea what they are doing, they see the effect everyday in movies, video games, magazines and music.
MC Hammer: "gonna bust some shots off/gonna dust some cops off" Damn I hate rap music!
Dirty Harry:"Do you ya feel lucky, punk? Well do ya?"
Big Arnie :"Hasta la vista, baby!"
Every day we are told violence, and by extension hand guns, are cool and acceptable.
We see the violent act as the solution and think not beyond it. This is the problem.
America has sown a breeze, and is now reaping the whirlwind.
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms will be the end of America as it was and is. What it will become will have to be new and radically different if it is to avoid turning into one big gangsta horror movie with zero chance of a happy ending.